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Math Help - equation of a reflected line

  1. #1
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    equation of a reflected line

    We know that suppose a light with the equation y=2x hit a mirror (let it be x-axis [ y=0]), a resultant ray will have an equation of y=-2x.

    Now let say if I have a light ray of equation y=10x+5 and the mirror equation y=3x+3. Then what will be the resultant equation of the reflected ray?

    Attached is the diagram. Not drawn to scale
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails equation of a reflected line-problem.jpg  
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  2. #2
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    y=(-43/26)*x+(152/91)
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by SebEndo View Post
    y=(-43/26)*x+(152/91)
    Hi Sebendo,

    May I know how you approach the question in order to get the answer?
    Last edited by noob mathematician; May 26th 2010 at 12:11 AM.
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  4. #4
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    oh, yes sorry about that, I though you just wanted the answer.

    There are different ways of solving this: you could use parametric equations of the line you have and then tunr it into matrices but what I did is this:

    First find the intersection point: (15/17 , -2/7) (let me know if you have trouble finding this.

    Next, because it is a reflected light beam we know the relation between angles: the angle of incidence will be equal to the angle of reflection. let the angle of the mirror line with the horizontal be A and the angle of the beam with the horizontal be B. Draw this out and label the angles and you will find that the angle between the tow line (C) is C=B-A i)

    Then, if you draw a horizontal line from the point of intersection you can see that the angle of the reflected beam (D) is: D=C-A ii)

    use i) and ii) to isolate D: D=B-2A iii)

    lastly we know that the angle of a line with the horizontal is the arctan of its slope. therfore we state that D=arctan(m) ,m being the slope of the reflected light beam. Using iii) we get the folowing equation:
    => arctan(m)=arctan(10)-2*arctan(3)
    => m=tan(arctan(10)-2*arctan(3)) = -43/26

    now you have a point and the slope of the light beam. plug this in y=mx+b, solve for b and you have you equation.

    I hope this is not too confusing, its only my second post...

    good luck
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by SebEndo View Post
    First find the intersection point: (15/17 , -2/7) (let me know if you have trouble finding this.

    Next, because it is a reflected light beam we know the relation between angles: the angle of incidence will be equal to the angle of reflection. let the angle of the mirror line with the horizontal be A and the angle of the beam with the horizontal be B. Draw this out and label the angles and you will find that the angle between the tow line (C) is C=B-A i)

    Then, if you draw a horizontal line from the point of intersection you can see that the angle of the reflected beam (D) is: D=C-A ii)

    use i) and ii) to isolate D: D=B-2A iii)

    lastly we know that the angle of a line with the horizontal is the arctan of its slope. therfore we state that D=arctan(m) ,m being the slope of the reflected light beam. Using iii) we get the folowing equation:
    => arctan(m)=arctan(10)-2*arctan(3)
    => m=tan(arctan(10)-2*arctan(3)) = -43/26
    Hi Thanks for your clarification again.

    I got (-\frac{2}{7}, 2\frac{1}{7}) as my interception. Maybe you can explain how to get it as well. Thanks

    I am quite confused with your definition of the angles. Attached is my understanding of your explanation. Please verify again Tks
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails equation of a reflected line-problem.jpg  
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  6. #6
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    correction

    I am sorry you are right, I did it too fast and inverted the 2 and 7 in x (it was pretty late too ) but the resoning work you can redo the work with the right point.

    angle clarification: angles A B and D are angles with the horizontal counter clockwise (or in your case, the smallest ones). and angle C is the smallest angle between the mirror and the light beam.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by SebEndo View Post

    angle clarification: angles A B and D are angles with the horizontal counter clockwise (or in your case, the smallest ones). and angle C is the smallest angle between the mirror and the light beam.
    Can u check with the new attached drawing again? Still not sure where is the D
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails equation of a reflected line-problem.jpg  
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by noob mathematician View Post
    Can u check with the new attached drawing again? Still not sure where is the D
    yep that right, you got the picture. You got the angle D properly drawn also.
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  9. #9
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    Here, maybe this will help:


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